A Haven for Vee

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I Challenged BJ to a Duel

What?! Am I crazy?! She's going to lay me out in lavender in no time flat. But, okay, put your dukes up, BJ, let's get this show on the road. ☺(Mixed metaphors much?) 

If you know BJ at Sweet Nothings, and I hope that you do, you know that she is an amazing blogger who excels at food photography. Every time I visit her, I gain a pound. It just so happens that I sent her a little recipe that she tried and enjoyed and that means just one thing: She is going to dress up that little bugger and make it a thing of beauty, which is a joy forever, until, as I mentioned already, you step on the scales. 

Apple Cheese Danish is an old Weight Watchers recipe from the 1960s. My mother, bless her heart, went on Weight Watchers and put the entire family on a diet. We began to look a bit emaciated in about six months time. Anyway, we all loved this recipe because it is a dieter's apple pie...sort of.

~forget the bananas...they are there for interest only a la BJ (course she's gonna use a flower...I think ☺)~

You will need the following ingredients for a single serving:

*an apple
*a piece of bread
*an ounce of cheese
*sweetener of choice

Okay, that's the recipe for making a legal Apple Cheese Danish; these are the ingredients for an illegal Apple Cheese Danish:

*an apple or two or as many as you think would be tasty
*a few pieces of bread, at least two
*an ounce or two of cheese...who's counting?
*a pat or two of butter
*sugar or maple syrup, Honey, whatever floats your boat


Melt butter in a skillet and add peeled and thinly sliced apples. Add enough water to help the apples stew down and become soft. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top. Very soon, your entire house is going to smell like an apple pie dream. Hmmmm...

~simmering apples~

An apple pie without some cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze. 
~ Unknown

~cheddar is my choice ~

Lightly toast your bread. Add that "ounce" of cheese (I have tried American, cheddar, and even cream cheese, but go with what appeals to you). When most of the liquid has simmered off, add the softened apples to the top of your waiting toast and cheese. Then broil until the cheese is bubbly. (I have a toaster oven that makes this easy-peasy.) Hope that you've made a great cup of coffee or tea to enjoy with your breakfast or lunch.

~Monday's Lunch...I used American cheese and didn't leave it under the broiler long enough~

~Tuesday's Lunch~

~Even the Iced Coffee is Happy~

Now skedaddle off to BJ's and see how she handled this little recipe. Since she lives way down in west Texas, it's going to take you a minute!

~this way to BJ's~

Disclaimer: No blogger was hurt in the production of this post.

Thanks for stopping by today! Oh, and if you try this recipe, BJ and I want to hear about it.

Monday, August 29, 2016

My Colors

Mosaic Monday! I promised 
Maggie the new hostess of Mosaic Monday at Normandy Life 
that I would join in one day. Today is that day.

These are my colors. Love them! Couldn't resist purchasing the bouquet at the farmer's market the other day. Yellows, corals, oranges, russets, cream, and no pink anywhere.

Oops...pink toes don't count.

The yellow miniature rose that John gave me last summer, came back this. I can not tell you how much this pleases me. 

The superbells have not been happy in the heat, but are making a comeback now that the temps have moderated.

Thank you for indulging me! Hope to do lots of visiting later today...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Odd Summer

It's been an odd summer. I suppose that any summer when such huge life changes occur would be considered odd.

Today, I will have the joy of spending some time with my grandsons and my daughter-in-law. I have hardly seen them since the 4th of July. Their summer has not been all that normal either I suspect. 

Why, just yesterday, my daughter-in-law was attacked, literally attacked, by a rogue seagull on a beach in Maine! It traumatized the boys. It can't be easy watching a seagull swoop in that way. Its attack even drew blood! Michelle said that fellow beachgoers were very helpful bringing her Neosporin and bandaids. 

Moving along to happier things like pictures of the Lake, Kings Landing, and such-like summertime moments. Most photos were taken by my daughter-in-law.

~The Lake~
~Are those two dancing?~
~Just Relaxing~

The grist mill at Kings Landing in NB, Canada is up and at'em again. The grands loved seeing it in operation once more.

~Impressive New Construction~

~full and happy~

~sweet Jake~
Perhaps our time today will end with ice cream...hope so! The grands and I have managed to do that only one other time this summer.

~bookend brothers~

Many photos have been taken here through the years. Something interesting has happened since the last time I featured this favorite spot.

~hotel in the barnyard~

Strange, but true!

Description and a photo of our favorite ice cream spot from a couple of past posts:

Our day with the grands ended at the top of the hill visiting our favorite ice cream stop. We munched our cones in silence watching the bulldozers destroy the woodlands and fields across the street. A casino is being built. Ugh.  And they call this progress? July 30, 2011

My! How they've grown! July 16, 2011


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Stealing from the Hodge Podge

1. It's National Waffle Day (August 24th)...what decision are you currently 'waffling over'? (or share one you've recently 'waffled over')

Oh gracious, yes, I have been waffling over a decision that had to be  made and I can't talk about it. Suffice it to say, it was one where my waffling hurt people and where my not waffling will hurt people, yet it must be done. It is one of those damned if you do and damned if you don't situations. 

2. It's the middle of August, but I'm already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons?  Yes

If so, does that bother you? 

No, to each her own. Our perspectives are all different. If I lived in some truly hot place, I'd be eager for fall myself. 

I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-

make s'mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe

Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close? 

A last minute summer getaway to the ocean sounds great!

3. Your favorite summertime 'art' found in nature?

I saw geese swimming on a still like glass pond yesterday and it was such a pretty scene that I pointed it out to my traveling companion... a simple moment in time.

4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying 'We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.' Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else? 

Sure. I can be too easy on myself and too hard with others. I try to judge myself as God sees me. Life is easier when I do.

5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate. 

No. My emotions run off with me. I doubt that anyone would want me around in a crisis, though my sister has sometimes told me that I do better than I feel that I am doing.

6. What's been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you'll continue making as the seasons change?

A bowl of Cheerios. I am just now starting to think about "real" meals.

7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?

I was given The Word in Color this summer and I have done some coloring. It is a pleasant pastime that allows the mind to rest.

I don't color as well as I did when I was six. ☺

 8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

No Random thoughts today other than The Ponderosa, my summer's work. (And autumn's too.)

You can find Joyce and participants right *here.* I wish that I had time to join in the fun, but since I don't, I won't party up. 

A good day to you and thank you for stopping by... 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Baby Steps

Surprise! I know what I said, but you know that it is always a woman's prerogative to change her mind. I change mine often; I changed mine today because this here blog has not been looking its best lately and I couldn't take it anymore.

This is the basil with a few marigolds that live in a railing box on the side deck facing the driveway. You last saw the basil growing in a can on my kitchen window sill in spring. Until the last few days, it has remained more or less under control. Now I must harvest it often. I am making Basil Bombs and freezing them for future use in soups, sauces, marinades, salad dressings or rubs for chicken, etc. I grind up the basil in a baby food grinder and add it to some small container (not my ice cube trays, though) and pour olive oil over to cover the basil, and then freeze it. Then I chop in into TBS size bits and save it in a freezer bag. Just yesterday afternoon, I used a couple in spaghetti sauce...yummy. Think I'll try some on pizza next.

It's been such a long, hot summer that the garden has not done well. The spider lilies were prolific, but much smaller than usual. I didn't even bother with photos until this nearly last one was blooming.

Haven't spent much time on the Haven lately. As you can see, until yesterday, I still had the things out that I put there in April. My mood has not been such that I cared about making things attractive or seasonal or anything. Then I remembered how much John liked seeing the decor change around here and how often he complimented me on things looking nice. I figure that, since it was starting to register, the time might have come to make some changes.

Want to see what's in the bag? Abby made this bag for me and I really love it...the perfect size for

books! So many of you have been blessing me with books...sort of take-me-away books:

Our Love is Here to Stay from Focus on the Family

A Season for Simplicity from Harvest House Publishers

The Apron Book by EllynAnne Geisel

(Kim, I had not noticed that the cover of this book looks like an apron pocket until I uploaded this picture...so cute!)

If Teacups Could Talk by Emilie Barnes

Collecting teacups in Southern California is really an act of faith. Made me laugh! This book has been my bedtime reading for about a week. I learned a lot of new things. One of them is why we might want to consider using a teacup, instead of a mug, for taking our tea. It made perfect sense when I read it. (Yes, I confess to taking my tea in a mug. I might have to change that up from time to time, most especially, if having tea with a friend.)

By the way, if my teacups could talk, they'd say thank you for washing us up and getting us out of the limelight.

In the meantime, I am waiting to see what to do next...perhaps the almost empty space up there will inspire me to do something in a few weeks.

Step by step...often baby steps...it's the way to get anything accomplished.

Thank you for popping by and have a great week!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Reporting from The Ponderosa

When one day is very like the next, it does not make journal keeping terribly interesting for the writer and certainly not for the reader. Every day, I don my uniform: a pair of capris, a t-shirt, socks and shoes, an apron, a bandana, and work gloves. (I was supposed to take a selfie of this get-up for a friend, but for the life of me, I can not figure out how to best do it. I am certain that this is just as well. ☺) I fill my insulated cup with lemonade and head off for The Ponderosa. Once there, I open the large bay doors and begin the day.

 ~behind the barn~

This usually consists of sorting tools, identifying tools, finding a home for said tools, nail sorting, and general clean-up. John saved every piece of paper, books, tools, containers, all manner of things. John has all the accouterments for landscaping, carpentry, automotive, electrical, plumbing, machinist work, masonry, and probably something I am forgetting. He was a hoarder collector. He was also an incredibly talented person who needed a lot of junk.

While I am often there alone, some days John's sister joins me. She has been a godsend helping to haul trash to the transfer station and doing what I cannot do, even though I am younger. Mary can climb like a mountain goat. Look at her up there in the loft! (I can NOT do that.)

~Mary in the Loft~

She found a lot of things up there that I had no idea of. She'd say, "I'm handing this down," and I'd say, "Let's leave it up there!"  I know that that's no way to clear a barn pretending that things don't exist by having them out of sight and mind. Mary also likes nothing better than finding me lots of stuff to take to the transfer station on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

In the evening, I am so tired that I usually fall asleep sitting in my chair. Life was better when John would gently wake me and ask if it might be time for bed. 

Because of the challenges of this time, I have been using my blog as a way to determine what was going on as proof of this or that. Sounds interesting and vague, right? Anyway, I have been wandering around in my archives for the first year of our marriage in 2008. That has been fun and a wonderful reminder of all those things we did together that first year before the responsibilities of life descended.

Thought I'd share a photo from that first autumn together when I took a selfie of us before I even knew the term. 

~2008 selfie~

The postscript on the race track behind The Ponderosa is that a town officer visited the new owner who repeated some of the same lies stories that he told me. The bottom line is that I now know that others have also been complaining, but there is nothing that we other property owners can do because he is allowed to do anything with his property, including having a race track. The new owner did say that he would limit his racing to a half hour a day and that he would put new quieter mufflers on his ATVs. 

Over and out for another week or so. You just can't take all this excitement from my corner! Thank you for visiting me today...

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Lost in Middle Maine

As Christians, we are never on a more troubled path than when we are following our own lead.
~ Pastor Bill

When I was a younger woman, okay, much younger woman, I liked nothing better than to take a drive (usually with my sister) turning down a road that we had never traveled before just to see where it took us. It was an adventure. Fun. Exciting. And long before the days of GPS and gas prices over $2 a gallon.

Last week, I had the joy of meeting with Pastor Bill and his darling wife Abby. That I would have to take an hour's journey on my own was going to be just the adventure I could handle. I don't go far these days. I have, over time, become a Nervous Nellie among other constraints of mind and body.

Before I had been on the road half an hour, I had two disasters adventures. One was an open driver's side door whilst going through the car wash and the second was a flat tire that needed replacing. Oh joy unspeakable!  *I would later be very grateful for that flat tire as you will see. 

~new tire time~

We all arrived at our destination on schedule and had lunch and fellowship together. I received some much-needed, wise counsel. We ended our time together with prayer in the parking lot and then we parted ways. Bill and Abby would be traveling southeast and I would be should have been traveling southwest. 

And that's where my adventure really began for, in an effort to avoid traveling on I-95 for just a few miles, I struck off not knowing where I was going believing that I could take a turn at any point in time and find my way to the correct highway.

The short story is that I wound up arriving home well over three hours later when I should have been there within an hour. I was lost in middle Maine. Instead of going southwest, I was going northwest and actually went much farther from home than I had been at our meeting place. 

~Vienna, Maine? Where is that?! (GPS thinks Vienna, Austria)~

There was anxiety, there was fear, there were tears, frustration, and even panic. I remember pulling over to the side of the road and screaming where am I? I didn't trust the GPS because I was laboring under my own wrong ideas of where I was when I had not one clue. Talk about Stupid. Okay, if you don't mind, let's not. 

~where am I?!~

The point of this little story is to say that one never really knows where he/she is on this journey called Life. We get lost, take a wrong road, think we know best, and on and on. 

The good news is that Christians who have trusted Jesus Christ and all He did for us on the cross know that He knows exactly where we are. If we lean on Him, He will see us safely through and ultimately safely home...all the way home. Ahhhh... What a glorious thought! 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding...

Proverbs 3: 5 and 6

*So grateful that I was not lost in the boonies with a flat tire.
Apologies for major formatting issues.
As always, Sunday's comments are closed so that you can read and scoot...